Traits and Signs of an Empath

Updated on December 8, 2018
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I love sharing what I know about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, spirituality, and living a better life!

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What Is an Empath?

An empath is a person who has an above-average ability to sense the emotions and energies of the people and surroundings they encounter. They may also be referred to as emotionally hypersensitive or highly sensitive. This is not to be misunderstood as having empathy. Being an empath is hugely beneficial when it comes to relating to others and/or the universe as a whole.

Unfortunately, empaths are often misunderstood, and therefore, mislabeled as bi-polar or manic-depressive. Being an empath is not a curse, although it can feel that way until you learn how to cope with all the stimuli you encounter. For an empath, a seemingly regular day can be overwhelming for many reasons. Subtle stimulants encountered on a daily basis can be overstimulating. Energies associated with touch, sound, scent, light, activity, and conversation are all examples of things that an empath can deeply and quickly absorb, often resulting in mental confusion, emotional upset, and even physical discomfort. If you are an empath, it is just genetically "how you were made," so there is no cure for it. It has been said that 1 in 20 people are empaths, which shows it's a lot more common than one would think.

The 5 Common Types of Empaths

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Animal
  • Global
  • Earth

20% of the population is genetically predisposed to being empaths. Being an empath is not a disorder. It is a character trait.

— Elaine Aron, Ph.D, psychologist at Stony Brook University, New York

Signs a Person Is an Empath or a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

1. They have a strong sense of knowing

Beyond intuition and gut feelings, empaths just know things. The more you become in tune with your ability, the stronger this trait can become. Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. Synchronicity—think of it as a wink from the cosmos! Scientists see a theoretical grounding for synchronicity in fractal geometry, quantum physics, and the chaos theory. It has been determined that the separation and/or isolation of objects from one another is much more apparent than real; at deep levels, everything—atoms, cells, molecules, people, plants, animals—are all participating in a sensitive, connective, and flowing network of information. Physicists have proven, as an example, that if two photons are separated, no matter the distance, a change in one creates a simultaneous change in the other. Empaths are likely to have varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives as well, including near-death experiences (NDEs) and out-of-body experiences (OBEs).

2. Strangers easily unload emotion on them

An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful, can end up as their own. It is not uncommon for an empath to be told an entire life story by perfect strangers in a matter of minutes. People, animals, and children are drawn to empaths like magnets. It's as if the empath is a sudden sounding and solution board for other people's issues, problems, or opinions. This is difficult for many empaths, myself included, as what many may assume is a simple conversation is actually an exercise in emotion overload for an empath. When out and about, I am often randomly bombarded with the chatter of other people. It does not take long for me to get a whole life story in a matter of minutes. It could all be symbolic, but I wear certain stones placed in pendants when I go out and it seems to prevent this. When I forget to wear them, I pay the price of being emotionally drained. The two that work best for me are labradorite and smokey quartz.

3. They absorb the emotions of others

Empaths have a unique ability to pick up other people's emotional energy and take it on as their own. This can occur whether an empath is near a person, far from a person, or just thinking of a person—distance is not an issue here. For example, it is possible for an empath to pick up on negative thoughts from another person who is miles away. It can feel odd sometimes, as you may suddenly find yourself brought to tears or in a fit of rage, without much explanation.

4. They find public places overwhelming

Any place that contains too much energy can be a miserable place for an empath. Because of their ability to absorb others' energies, places like shopping malls, concert venues, grocery stores, traffic jams, hospitals, retirement homes, even thrift stores, garage sales and graveyards can be unbearable. Ever notice that you can hike in the woods for miles and not be exhausted, but a trip to the grocery store can be unbearable?

5. They have a nose for the truth

An empath just "knows" when someone is being dishonest or telling a lie, and insincerity, phoniness, or fake behavior is easily spotted. Many empaths are constantly seeking and looking for truth and just behavior in those they associate with. This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels just plain wrong.

6. They experience sudden physical pain, suffering, or illness

Many empaths are bombarded with mysterious illnesses, or pain that cannot be diagnosed by modern medicine. Being an empath is draining; it's unsurprising that they are often fatigued and suffer from migraines, sore throats, and aches and pains with no discernible cause. But the cause actually is clear—it is from absorbing others' energies. Until an empath learns to diffuse the various energies they have come to contain, these ailments will not resolve. In addition to energy, empaths can also pick up physical pains and ailments from others (especially those they are very close to). They are more specifically prone to ailments in their throat, root, and solar plexus chakras. This is why grounding, staying true to yourself, and voicing yourself is very important.

7. They cannot tolerate worldly news, radio, TV, newspapers, violence, or cruelty

The more attuned an empath becomes, the harder it will be for them to listen or hear this type of information. It can become so intolerable that they have to halt receiving this information altogether.

8. They commonly experience digestive disorders and back pain

The solar plexus chakra is based in the center of the abdomen and is known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel incoming emotions from another, which can weaken the area and lead to stomach ulcers, IBS, constipation, eating disorders, and lower back problems (from being ungrounded). Most empaths unaware of their ability commonly complain of these ailments.

9. They often have addictive personalities

Alcohol and drug abuse are common for empaths. By polluting the mind, an empath attempts to block out and protect themselves from emotional energies they do not want to feel or absorb. Although using substances to numb difficult energies may feel good temporarily, it obviously causes a multitude of secondary problems. Additionally, substances attract lower frequency energies, so it is especially important for empaths to turn to higher frequency coping tools, such as sobriety, prayer, and God.

10. They are drawn to holistic, natural healing and all things metaphysical

Empaths often become natural healers (once they learn to use their abilities properly). This may explain why so many empaths are attracted to professions that involve healing—therapy, teaching, veterinary work, psychiatry, and medicine are a few commonly chosen fields of work or study. At the same time, there are also empaths who wish to avoid these trades because of the overwhelming energies attached to them.

11. They are creative and inquisitive

Empaths are very creative and adore anything from music, drawing, painting, photography, acting, writing, singing, and dancing. They have a gift for creating that is often paired with a vivid imagination. Their interests are vast, varied, and ever changing! If you are an empath, you will likely flutter from one thing to another, never feeling like you can possibly learn enough. You may notice your side of the bed is stacked with books, or that you have a never-ending list of hobbies or things you wish to explore.

12. They need regular solitude

Although it seems like a contradiction (because they often appear extroverted), empaths require large amounts of downtime and solitude so that they can shut out the world, process, and rejuvenate. This is not to be confused with avoidance, depression, or something being "wrong." They simply need time to reflect and clear their minds—this is especially obvious in empath children. Empaths like to be alone because being alone is not the same as being lonely for them. It is actually not uncommon for empaths to remain single and/or childless throughout their lifetimes, as close relationships can be very challenging unless respected boundaries are established.

13. They get bored and distracted easily

Work, school, and home life have to be kept interesting and stimulating, or an empath is likely to tune out and daydream.

14. They love nature and animals

Nature and the outdoors are especially important for empaths to feel grounded and at peace. Water is especially helpful, and owning a pet is almost always essential for their happiness.

15. They seek answers and knowledge

Empaths are often problem solvers who seek the truth and study many things. To have unanswered questions can be frustrating, and they will endlessly search to find an explanation. If they have a "knowing" about something, they will look for confirmation. The downside to this quality is information overload, and a brain that won't turn off and be quiet.

16. They root for the underdog and underprivileged

Empaths are highly compassionate. Anyone suffering, in emotional pain, handicapped, injured, or being bullied draws an empath's attention.

17. They cannot tolerate clutter

The immediate environment of an empath is something they can easily control and is a reflection of their mental health. This is not to say they are OCD, but clutter is like mental weight for them. It blocks energy flow, so they are inclined to remove it. Their homes are simple and clean, and unnecessary clutter is promptly removed. You typically will not find an empath who is a hoarder.

18. They cannot tolerate restrictive clothing or jewelry

Some empaths may find that types of clothing textures or jewelry can be too restrictive. These adornments may feel uncomfortable, itchy, heavy, or just "not right." Therefore, a lot of empaths may appear to be "plain Janes." They also likely prefer only very specific pieces of jewelry or clothing fabric, and they will tend to wear these all the time.

19. They love freedom, travel, adventure, and the road less traveled

Empaths are natural-born free spirits. Anything that takes away their freedom is crippling to their happiness. This includes routine, strict rules, and codependent relationships. It is not unusual for empaths to have experienced many things in life, even when still young, making them appear wise beyond their years—it's as if they have an "old soul." Many are born and just skip childhood all-together, seemingly always having been an adult. Many of an empath's life experiences could be considered rather extreme, adventurous, or daring, and this ultimately allows them to be more open and receptive to various people, perspectives, and events.

20. They cannot tolerate narcissism

Overly egotistical people, or those who are self-centered and refuse to consider others' points of view, are intolerable to empaths and are usually avoided as much as possible.

21. They sense the energy of food

Many empaths don’t like to eat meat, seafood, or poultry because they can feel the energy of the animal (especially if the animal suffered or was inhumanely treated before death), even if they like the taste. Weight issues can easily become a problem, as there are some HSPs who become overweight because they use food to dull their emotional sensitivity.

22. They an be perceived as moody, aloof, or disconnected

How an empath is feeling will determine what face they show to the world. They are prone to mood swings, and they can appear quiet, unsociable, or miserable when they've taken on too much negativity. If you are an empath and find yourself feeling this way, a good question to ask yourself is, "What am I carrying right now? Is this emotion mine?"

23. They detest doing things they don't enjoy

This is not to be confused with laziness—an empath does not like to do or live in a way that feels like a "lie."

24. They instinctively feel time, days of the week/month, weather, or direction

It is not uncommon for an empath to arrive at their destination without maps or directions—they can get there by "knowing." The same thing goes for time and days of the week or year, and they are also extremely sensitive to climate changes.

25. They dislike antique, vintage, or secondhand items

Some empaths prefer to buy new when financially feasible so as to avoid absorbing the energies from a previous owner. I personally do not have a problem with this trait, and almost prefer secondhand, mainly because these shopping locations are not typically overly populated, and I don't have a six-figure income. I also find I become emotionally comforted by certain "used" items, but also repulsed by others. It just depends on the item.

26. They are great listeners

Empaths make great listeners. This can become a burden when they socialize too much, as they can become over-energized from engaging with so many other people and energies. They often only share their personal information with those who they trust and are extremely close to. Empaths make great friends, but are crushed if a friendship is mistreated. Over time, they learn to become far more selective—while they may have a large circle of friends and can blend in with just about any type of crowd or personality, they generally only have a few “close” friendships. Once those close relationships are established, empaths find a good exchange of love and respect. These relationships often last a lifetime.

Positives of Being an Empath

•Instinctively knowing the energy of people and places.

•Using sensitivity to promote peace, understanding, and healing.

•Can easily manipulate energy.

What an Empath Is Not!

Empaths are highly sensitive people who have the capacity to tune into the energies around them. They are not:

  1. Emotionally immature.
  2. Narcissistic, ego-driven, or self-centered.
  3. Unpredictable and unstable.
  4. Overly-dependent.
  5. Demanding, attention thirsty, or creators of drama.

Empathy should never be used for personal gain or manipulation.

Signs of an Imbalanced or Sick Empath

  • Physical pain, stomach issues, headaches, and over- or under-eating are HUGE warning signs. Don't ignore these—they are signs of imbalance.
  • Feeling spaced out, confused, and disconnected (sometimes for extended periods of days or weeks).
  • Wild mood swings after being around toxic people.
  • Feeling like you’re swirling around and around with nowhere to call home (ungrounded). The mind can go to very dark places if allowed.
  • Preferring solitude to an extreme (wanting to always be alone, and avoiding places and people). Downtime and rejuvenation are necessary and healthy for an empath, but going into complete "avoidance" mode is not.
  • Feeling alone when you are in a crowded place or feeling invisible to others.

Solutions and Coping Skills for Living With Empath Abilities

To avoid falling prey to mental overload, drug addiction, depression, and a sense of disconnect, follow these simple suggestions to help cope with the effects of being an empath:

  • Stay creative, whatever that means for you. Sing, dance, draw, etc...
  • Learn to guard your own energy—this is very important. How can you do this? Breathe, and when you focus on your breath, remind yourself of what is yours, and what is not. Make a point to meditate on a regular basis, even if you can only commit to a few times a week. The key is staying consistent.
  • Use your voice (many empaths lose track of who they are because of emotions they absorb). It's very easy for an empath to become sick and disconnected from the self, reducing their ability to speak for themselves and maintain their sense of individuality and health.
  • Get outside! Go for walks, take hikes, admire and get involved in nature—lay in the sun, or put your bare feet on the ground.
  • Use water! If possible, get near an ocean ASAP. Water is a huge emotional cleanser and energy remover for an empath. Drink plenty of water, and when you feel you are covered in emotional slime, take a shower, or do a detox bath.
  • Keep your chakras open. Again, this means speaking up for yourself, taking time for solitude, and staying balanced with yoga, prayer, and meditation. Give your worries and overwhelm to God.
  • Use stones and crystals—these are easily found at apothecary shops or online. Smokey quartz is highly protective and grounding, as well as labarodite, and black tourmaline (these are my personal favorites as my grounding has not been mastered). You can really use any object that you determine is a talisman for you. The point is to change the tape in your head that leads to overwhelm, and objects that hold meaning for you can help change attention.
  • Avoid negativity and stress when possible, especially from people!
  • Limit time with TVs, news, electronics, and places that drain your energy. This also goes for people—keep people who are like "emotional vampires" away.
  • When anxious, close your eyes, envision your chakras, and remind yourself of what is yours and what is not. This helps you stay grounded. Use chakra healing techniques.
  • Learn grounding, centering, and shielding skills.
  • Pray. Prayer is extremely healing, uplifting, and motivating. Pray often to Spirit/God. Pray with grace and gratitude.
  • Seek outside help from an energy practitioner or spiritual healer.
  • Find support groups, therapy, churches (or whatever form of spiritual practice that works for you), as well as consider group fitness classes.
  • Try to look for at least one positive thing every day!

Are You an Empath?

Answer this question after reading the traits

See results

Embrace Your Ability

Above all, embrace your ability. People of all walks of life, as well as animals and children, are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Others may not be aware that someone is an empath, but they will still be drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!

I've finally started coming into my own with my empathy and hypersensitivity and recently felt compelled to write this because of how unbearable things had become. For so long, I thought I was a sick codependent, but I am not. The journey has been long, confusing, and tedious, sometimes even sick and heart-wrenching, but I wouldn't change myself for a second. Still, sometimes it is very daunting to deal with. We are all unique souls on individual paths, with individual lessons and purposes. I hope this article helps others who may or may not be aware of their abilities, and that the information included will offer comfort, support, and tools for dealing with being a highly sensitive and empathic person. For so long I thought of this as a curse, but am finally starting to see it as a blessing, and am looking forward to the path ahead.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Rebecca

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      • profile image

        brian 

        2 days ago from uk

        I been reading some of the comments on second hand items picked up I think its because some items carry a negative vibration of which were are sensitive too I could explain but I do not think it's for this subject

      • profile image

        Brian 

        3 days ago

        Thank you Rebecca for replying its so comforting to talk to someone that's experienced whats its been like. did you also know we can also experience the supernatural i don't know if you have but i have seen spirit beings on occasions it is something difficult to describe at first but when things clear in your mind there's that amazement of wow what was that i have just experienced good luck and keep up the good work

        god bless

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        4 days ago from USA

        Hi Brian,

        I think you may want to look into different types of energy healing it sounds like you'd be able to help a lot of people (beyond basic touch). We do take on others ailments, so make sure to take good care of yourself, mind body and spirit. You will connect well with those like you, it will feel easy and familiar, and sometimes we can talk for days. Thanks for your comment on this article.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        4 days ago from USA

        I'm the same way :) There's energy in things some feels good some doesn't, I don't really mind it. Thank you for your comment.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        4 days ago from USA

        You're welcome. Thanks for the comment :)

      • profile image

        Samm 

        4 days ago

        Thank you for writing this! This is all so dead on and SO helpful. I am an empath but also enjoy thrift stores and buying second hand as well.. that's probably the one main exception that doesn't apply to me :)

      • profile image

        Lynette 

        4 days ago

        Thank you! It's like you were writing about me.This article represents exactly who I am & my life. It feels good to know their are others just like me. Thank you!

      • profile image

        brian 

        6 days ago from uk

        im still not sure if its empath or clairsentient seem to able sense the atmosphere of a buildings unless its because ive learned to protect my self used to be a really emotional be its almost when i come in close contact with another empath i know what they are almost right away is there such thing as a person with both or vica versa abilities. when i was married it was almost like i was mimicking the wife's symptoms at the time thats feeling unwell i did not know why. there was one other incident my wife at the time was complaining about a shoulder pain i suggested giving a massage after ten fifteen mins i thought that should help so i stopped the massage she complained why you stopped said don't you better, she claimed that there was warm gently heat emanating from my hands giving her a sense of well being the pain had disappeared. i was some puzzled and shrug it off as joke giving it no further thought. but like i said as ive got older things have changed as far as im concerned to anybody its just a story what you think rebecca

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        8 days ago from USA

        So glad it's helping you. Took me a long time to figure it out also. It won't feel so bad once you really get to know yourself. You have a lot to offer this world.

      • profile image

        J.S. Longstreet 

        9 days ago

        Wow. This is ridiculous. I'm nearly 36 and considered myself to be an emotional sponge. As if I don't really exist, only chameleoning my way through this depressing fog called life. Every darn point here hit home. It's like, "is this you?" And then proceeded to deconstruct my personality down to over-eating to cope with stress.

        I have to delve deeper into this subject. Fascinating.

      • profile image

        Zee 

        2 weeks ago

        Thank you for this. you are appreciated.

      • profile image

        christian 

        4 weeks ago

        HI I don`t know if you can help but I've randomly been crying for 11 months now and most of the time there is no explanation for this. It feels like the atmosphere changes and then I just feel so sad and cry so intensely that its like someone is pulling a huge knott in my stomach. this lasts for a few minutes normally and then it goes as if nothing has happened. I've been for counselling, CBT, Prayer etc and nothing will shift it. Last night when I cried it felt as if I was being strangled and struggled to breath which was ridiculous as I was the only person there and I wasn't being strangled.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        5 weeks ago from USA

        Glad to help Deb :) thank you for your comment.

      • profile image

        Deb 

        5 weeks ago

        I thought that everyone could feel other people’s physical pain. I googled it and found Empaths. I found myself after 58 years. Incredible.

      • profile image

        chrisy 

        5 weeks ago

        I always got confused why people always talked to me about personal things before we were even friends.

      • profile image

        henry 

        8 weeks ago

        I thought I was crazy or loosing my mind.

        Atleast I feel at peace with myself now knowing im not. Thanks.

      • profile image

        Carlos 

        2 months ago

        I cried, thank you so much. I'm definitely sick. I isolate myself. Work, home and errands, that's it. No sort interaction with the world, outside of those things. No friends, no partner, not even my family bc to them I am crazy, the odd ball. I had two dogs but had to put them to sleep this summer. Ever since then, my stomach drops from the the pull in my soul, the cosmic connection I have to everything tangible is overwhelming...

      • profile image

        Julie 

        2 months ago

        I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article. It really resonates with me. The last year or so proved difficult for me (feeling raw and easily swept away by negativity) and after really nurturing myself I feel that I am on the upswing, so to speak. Through understanding that I am a highly sensitive person, energy healing and daily meditation I feel more centered, confident and gronded than ever before. Yoga and reconnecting with nature has also been incredibly helpful.

      • profile image

        Troy 

        3 months ago

        Wow!!! I'm beside myself!! Got curious about a few weird things that happened to me often and felt compelled to get on the internet and look it up been through about 10-15 different pages about empaths. Every article seem to speak to me but this one was just beyond belief!!! Thank you so much for this post Rebecca

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 months ago from USA

        The moment you realize they are cluster B, don't doubt yourself and get rid of all connections asap. You need to learn to just trust your initial instinct.

      • profile image

        Reay 

        3 months ago

        Thank you, your article is a keeper-thorough and 100% identifiable. I do seem to attract partners with Cluster B traits of the more sociopathic variety and 'on repeat'. Even when I can feel and sense, intuitively know all (perhaps, too many) of the details, I seem to grab onto kind of a compassionate hopefulness that trumps all. What are some tools I could use to eliminate my side stepping empathy traits and stop wasting time and energy for both.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 months ago from USA

        :) so glad to help Bev. Thank you for your comment.

      • profile image

        Bev 

        3 months ago

        Hi, very good article & thanks for sharing. I,ve been an empath all my life.That doeSn,t mean I,ve got my life right where I want it. Have 5 girls& in my 2nd marriage..... & all are narcissists to the max. Life has not been easy, however I,m now learning how to live with myself & love myself as well. I also love how you included God in your article. Am on my way to becoming more grounded than I,ve ever been. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Gh kleiner, artist 

        4 months ago

        Hi,

        Great article, I’m a visual artist who is an empath. I have gifts of knowing how to make great art! I draw at Starbucks and I seem to be bothered by a lot of people in the store. I sense people trying to look at my art while I’m drawing and it bothers me. I like drawing in public but. I feel awkward while drawing. I’m not sure the positive things are so good. I guess it is what it is. Thanks for the article, I’m on the internet if anyone wants to see unique art. Blessings Gh kleiner

      • profile image

        River Shine 

        5 months ago

        Thank you for this article. I dont see your recipe for the detox bath. Please share it with me

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        7 months ago from USA

        Glad it had helped. It does get easier over time.

      • profile image

        April Dawn 

        7 months ago

        Every word matches my heartfelt truth I feel about my own experience, always sounding crazy to others, everyone I know knows I am a metaphysical student, and thinks I am batshit. But I am a reclusive type, and avoid pretty much everything at this point. I have become addicted to cannabis and have even started drinking alcohol again just to feel anything. I feel absolutely broken. I quit jobs day one after having either panic attacks or uncontrollable crying spells in the restroom on break. I can be away from home in true wild for days, but can't stand the grocery store for 15 minutes. I feel like I am a spirit stuck in a cruel world, and yet I have become a monster myself, just to push away the drama and bullshit that others can't get a handle on themselves. I will start true to my praying and spontaneous meditation. I will complete my ministry training and focus on my art. Thank you for your words of simple and direct truth, blessings.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        7 months ago from USA

        It's a strange ride isn't it? I was exposed to a really bad narc situation recently. Almost sucked my soul clean out. I'm glad to hear this resonated for you and appreciate you sharing.

      • Sean OMurchu profile image

        Sean OMurchu 

        7 months ago

        Just got my first discard last summer and started researching narcissists at 49 years of age. Two other narcs in my past got dumped for cheating, so I never got the joy of a discard before. "Co-dependent", "people pleaser" and all the other terms didn't quite work. "Empath" fills in a lot of blanks for me; people telling me their family business without prompting, going for a walk for 10 minutes every couple of hours at a wedding, bailing on my friends at nightclubs when I was young, the connection with animals, and the synchronicities! Weird stuff that defies mathematical odds.

        As much research as I did on narcs to protect myself and my teenage son (whose mother is a narc too), I am inspired now to find out all I can about this gift

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        7 months ago from USA

        You're very welcome Lori Lee, thanks for the comment.

      • profile image

        Lori Lee 

        7 months ago

        Thank you so much for this arrival. I'm so overwhelmed and it seems to be getting worse. This was exactly what I needed. So much negative energy around me is rare when I met someone with positive energy. I just found out I was an Empath with my therapist who isn't with me any more. Now I have a place to start. Thanks again.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        7 months ago from USA

        Thanks for your comment. There are different types of empaths, just like narcissism, it is a spectrum. You may find most things I mentioned fit where others do not and that is ok. BTW, I love thrift and charity shops. I'm not a hoarder but I certainly have pockets of clutter in my home and it can be hard to let go of items. You may actually like psychometry, that may be an ability you have with your empathy. Thanks again for your comment I'm glad it helped.

      • profile image

        EveryonesBigSistr 

        8 months ago

        All my life I have been described as highly sensitive and empathetic. About 15 years ago I read an article about HSP's and knew it was me, but that was a time before this became mainstream, and people disregarded it, so I kind of did too, assuming that what I was feeling was what everyone feels.

        However I have since learned not everyone has strangers approach them and share intimate problems. Not everyone gets sick to their stomach (like deep in their bones,) when others are hurting, not everyone is told they "know what Im feeling before I even do." Which is why, I'm pretty sure I am an Empath. I say pretty sure, because I am often plagued with self doubt.

        I identified with everything in your article except the part on clutter/hoarding. I am extremely cluttered, and a borderline horder. Is it that empaths dont have clutter? Or that they shouldn't?

        Also, creative types often havr lots of clutter and lots of "stuff" because they see value in everything. So how does this fit?

        I believe I gather so many items (especially vintage,) because my "mother" a deeply cruel person, threw away everything from my childhood and my grandparents. So perhaps that has more to do with abandonment issies, and doesnt exclude me from being an empath.

        Im just trying to better understand.

        Thank you for reading this "novel."

        A

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        8 months ago from USA

        Completely agree. Salt baths are a life saver if you can't get to the ocean :)

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        8 months ago from USA

        I feel that way a lot also. I actually don't have an issue buying pre-owned anything. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your input.

      • profile image

        Oceans 

        8 months ago

        You mention that it's good to get close to water, but don't forget salt!! Salt is excellent for an earthly cleansing tool as well. That's why the ocean is so strongly purifying; it includes water and salt combined.

      • profile image

        #25 

        8 months ago

        I think it's actually better for an empath to buy secondhand because it makes me feel better knowing the item is recycled; if it's brand new I'm thinking about the unethical practices the business may be perpetrating that my purchase is subtly endorsing. But with secondhand clothing, I know I'm not increasing the world's environmental pollution or other injustices.

      • profile image

        Lucy 

        8 months ago

        Thank you for giving me clarity.

      • profile image

        rjmac71 

        10 months ago

        Thank you for putting into words almost everything that describes myself. It was very insightful and informative and I appreciate you for it.

        Without going into too much detail about myself and telling you life story (which undoubtedly bore people to death lol) I have just a couple things. I will inform you that, throughout my life I have done things that add to my stress and mental health issues, mainly military experiences (and I'm not looking for thank you's or sympathy about them. I made the choices that led to those and I except them as my own.) just giving you some insight to how my mind thinks. That being said, I have always been an emotion person, even at young age, I was always looking to listen to people and trying to understand the world around me. I do see a mental health professional and take some very powerful medications to aide me in my day-to-day life and they help....to an extent. I am happily married and we just celebrated our 15th anniversary and have been a couple for nearly two decades. My problem is this. I work in a very chaotic, loud, crowded environment for 8 years now and my sole purpose in my current position is to assist customers with technical aide. I am finding it increasingly difficult to get through my day at work. I am attending a very good college in the arts and am roughly half way through. My day at work is literally eating away at my soul. I am always depressed, tired, beat up, sore etc. etc. Meditation is pretty much impossible for me. I have gotten to the point where I avoid contact with people(with the exception of my wife, who's company I enjoy very much and maybe some family members) but even with family, I find that large groups of them just tear me down. It's affecting my very close friendships and I'm avoiding any contact with the outside (if and when I get any chance) My days off usually look like me staying at home and not even wanting to interact with people. I barely get enjoyment out of watching my favorite shows or movies and my health is becoming a major concern having had a heart attack last March. I just want to be the best person I can be, not only for myself, but for my wife and family as well. I want to be around for a long time. So , I'm left with a dilemma, quit my job, to which I'm only there now for the benefits and possibly hurt my family in doing so. Self medicating heavily, to make it through the day, without wanting to just scream at every person that I see that comes to me for help, or I don't even have another way. I don't think about hurting myself, so there's no need to worry about that. I'm just at wits end and don't know what to do. Im looking for other work, but that still means I have to interact with more people(which you already know I hate to do now). I just don't know what to do. I am so exhausted all the time and it takes every ounce of energy I have to be in social environments. I don't know...it does help a little saying all of this to an impartial audience. But don't get me wrong, my wife is very supportive in everything I do and always tells me I can tell her anything, I just don't want to burden her with all this crap I go through every second of my daily existence. Any ideas? I know that is a ton of information and you already expressed in your article how being empathetic, we have the tendency to take on the emotions of those around us and people we don't even know. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad, I just am running out of ideas.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        10 months ago from USA

        Thank you. Many blessings to you too, I'm glad you found this helpful.

      • profile image

        PowerMechGuy 

        10 months ago

        This helped me out tremendously. I couldn't quite pin everything I was experiencing down. But now I get it. I also found that mental imagery helps tremendously when dealing with negative energy. And I never knew stones were that powerful. And the constant references to God were like a confirmation.

        Your work here is much appreciated. God bless you and may you have peace on your path.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        11 months ago from USA

        We can get way to close to people and take on their "energetic" stuff. At which point it helps to ground and focus on knowing what is yours and what is not. Emotions don't care about gender and we all have masc/fem energy in us. I think if you try some of the things in this article you'll feel a lot better. Also FB has groups for Empaths if you use social media, these can be helpful. You're not a minority being male. :)

      • profile image

        oldbasejumper 

        11 months ago

        I'm an ole guy, and only recently started searching for the word empath. I have been with my GF for about 7 years. I have a problem sleeping in the same bed with her or anyone for years. I do not know if that is normal and i just attribute it to having separate houses and being a single parent for many years. What i started paying to attention to is this. I can be in a different room and suddenly I will go from normal, to almost tears in my eyes from overwhelming emotion, the type of emotion when one is thinking about a parent that passed away, or a sad event. And, it comes out of nowhere and fast. I finally realized it was due to my girlfriend, she will be thinking about her mother that passed away, or she will be watching a sad movie, and I'm hit with the emotion. I started confirming this by coming out of my office/room and saying "are you crying again". 9 times out of 10, she is. Also, I sleep in a different bedroom, and sometimes, i can't fall asleep for a couple hours, just lying there,....you guessed it, I"ll go check in on my GF in the adjacent bedroom, and she is up, wide awake, and says she can't sleep and that she is worried about a situation at her job. Is this all the time?, of course not, but 90% of the time can't be coincidence. On a general topic.....I have attributed my somewhat anti-social to "smoking a little pot" when i was younger. Or, i would rationalize that it was because i was a single parent, going to night school, getting promoted at "a small company", or just being too busy to be an extrovert. I also was involved in skydiving, fast motorcyles , etc, as it makes me focus on "the moment" and every problem i might have going on in my life, is gone...at least for those moments. This might be politically incorrect of me to say, but I have always thought i have been way too emotional for being a guy. I now wonder if I have been an empath for many years and just been in denial. ...thanks for listening to me ramble.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        11 months ago from USA

        :( you can't. You need to learn how to manage it.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        12 months ago from USA

        Thanks Frank :) Hope you are well, been awhile since we spoke.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        12 months ago from Shelton

        what a very interesting hub Bishop.. somehow I missed it...:)

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        12 months ago from USA

        I appreciate your comment, but can't speak for every single empath or how they are raised/or specific personality deviations. Take what resonates for you, leave what doesn't.

      • profile image

        Kacey 

        12 months ago

        I have so many problems with this post. I'm recently trying to figure out my issues and I believe it's because I'm an empath. You do NOT take into account upbringing or the ability of anyone with whatever upbringing or for that matter personality deviations. This definition of an empath leaves out so many people. A LOT of us aren't this description.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        12 months ago from USA

        I'm so glad it helped. Don't worry, things get easier, and you're very much needed here for your empathy.

      • profile image

        Tailor 

        12 months ago

        This literally brought me to tears. More than once.

        I've struggled with so many of the ailments listed for a long time. I've known that I was an empath for a while, but haven't ever done any serious digging into it all. Everything makes sense now. Thank you for sharing this information and advice. It's so, so appreciated.

      • profile image

        Louise 

        13 months ago

        I've never felt moved to add a comment to anything in my whole life, but this was such a wonderful article that I had to thank you.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        13 months ago from USA

        :) I will email you.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        13 months ago from USA

        You're very welcome. Don't worry things will get easier.

      • profile image

        Janet 

        13 months ago

        I think I am Empathy, and I have all the signs of imbalanced empathy and its scarey sometimes I went for a Chakra cleanse, and I am learning about stones and crystals to try and help Thank you for this reading page

      • profile image

        Joel13 

        13 months ago

        Let me assure everyone, if you are an Empath, you will know and there's no debating with yourself. I've known for years, but couldn't define this self proclaimed curse. Rebecca, I need to speak with you. Please allow me the opportunity. It will not be a waste of your time, I assure you. daddycatie@gmail.com

      • profile image

        Rachael 

        13 months ago

        thanks for this article but am still confused if am one of them because few of them described me.

        Am still not quite sure.

      • profile image

        Nic 

        16 months ago

        Hello, friend,

        Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. I've been aware of my intuition etc. for years, but wasn't aware of the label "empath" until last year. Since then, I've read extensively, and this is the best article about being an empath that I've encountered. I also appreciate you addressing the problems of being an empath with possible solutions - this I find very helpful! I'm going to read this to my mother so she has an even better idea about what I'm like, so again, thank you for sharing!

        Peace. x

      • profile image

        Saul 

        18 months ago

        Interesting article, clarifies a few things.

      • profile image

        Erin 

        18 months ago

        Thank you.

      • profile image

        BonnieB 

        18 months ago

        Thank you for your article. I believe I am empathic. I have recently admitted to depression. A hugh need for privacy, and down time. I believe much of it has been caused by my sister unknowingly using me as her emotional dump. Do you have any additional advice or books that could help me

      • profile image

        Sandra chaves 

        21 months ago

        I am sinsitive type of impath

      • profile image

        Gaby 

        21 months ago

        Wow! This is probably the most detailed and interesting article regarding empaths I ever stumbled upon. Thank you so much!

      • profile image

        Nameless 

        23 months ago

        This article was scary. Well thought out. And very frightening.

      • profile image

        Sikestiffany 

        2 years ago

        I definitely think I am an empath.. but one thing that's throwing me is the clutter and the fact that I detest cleaning. I CANNOT stand a cluttered space.. but I also can't stand to clean. 9 times out of 10 the hatred of cleaning house wins out. So I end up feeling worse because of what everything looks like :[

        I want to say I am an empath, but I also feel like I must be imbalanced if I am one because I'm requiring a lot more alone time lately.

      • profile image

        Brandyn 

        2 years ago

        So me but, I do not always keep a clean room, I guess it's just my time schedule and I am very grateful to this article now i know what I am and why

      • profile image

        TmcD 

        3 years ago

        Excellent article, I am in retail and since I hit around 35 I have been so emotionally drained, but it us not a physical job, customers will come in and make a beeline for me, next thing I know I'm hugging them after long conversations, everything in this article makes so much sense , what an enlightening read. Will start meditating asap. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Dem 

        3 years ago

        This is a great article. Thank for the eye opening read.

      • profile image

        Rebecca 

        3 years ago

        This article really hit home for me. My name is also Rebecca and I am 35 years old and I can relate completely. Thank you so much for sharing.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 years ago from USA

        Celina...are you on FB? find me at thrive happy on FB, we can talk more there. :)

      • profile image

        Celina 

        3 years ago

        I've never really wrote online about my experience, but I really need some advice, and just like with everything else that is spiritual there aren't really any people around me who have similar experiences. They're religious, but they don't feel things to the extent that I do, or they just ignore it. I believe I am an Empath, I didn't use to, but now I've given in and realized that explains a lot about me.

        I don't know how to control it, I feel too much. It's the strangest feeling when I'll get so overwhelmed with anger or sadness, and I have no idea why I am feeling that way. I don't know how to separate myself from feelings and emotions of others. Especially with the world in general. The condition of the world literally hurts, I can feel the pain, my family and friends say that I have the "I want to help the world" thing about me, as much as I do, I don't want to constantly feel everything so much. I will feel a dying tree, and am overwhelmed by sickness and the dying aura, it's just so much to feel everything. I feel more negative things then positive, even though I work to even out both energies.

        To all the others out there who feel this, how do you control it? I mediate and do yoga and work on my chakras, all that, it doesn't help. In a way it just opens it up more, any advice?

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 years ago from USA

        Hi Holly, you can message ThriveHappy on FB and I'll be able to find you. :)

      • profile image

        holly bentley 

        3 years ago

        Bishop55, thank you for your response ..it means a lot..more then you know.. i am in recovery for 2yrs..which helps a lot..my ex boyfriend used to lie to me all the time..i of course knew every time..but instead of owning up..he 'd still say he wasn't..even though i had all aspects covered..it always tore me up..relationships can be very draining for me...i would love to be able to ask you questions or just chat..thank you!

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 years ago from USA

        Hi Holly, I went through addiction recovery too. I'm over a year now. You can do this. My suggestion would be to surround yourself with as much positive as possible. People, music, shows, jokes, laughter. Someone taught me the healing power of prayer as well. I'm still learning about myself every day, as we all do. Hopefully you are in a recovery program and working steps, that helped me too. Don't beat yourself up, take baby steps always looking for the silver lining. :) Thank you for your comment.

      • profile image

        holly bentley 

        3 years ago

        My sister sent this hub to me..ive known that i was a bit different for many years..first and foremost..i must ask this question.. for im having a terrible time using my smart phone..is it true that my negative energy effects the way my phone fucntions????ive gone through many phones and computers..lol..ive learned sooo much from this hub.i have been going threw a horrible time for a long time..it seems to me that im a sic empath..im 33 and i now think That since i never truly knew why ive been so depressed..emotional..withdrawn...and im now goin threw addiction recovery...i may now have the means to crawl out of this dark place ive been in..i want to so badly use this trait to the fullest..ive done nothing in my life..but make mistakes..ive always felt that i was meant to help others but the hardship of being empath and not knowing it my whole life has been an emotional struggle.. i truly wish i could get help from a person such as yourself to help me understand and become the person outside of this shell ive been in for sooo long...thank you so much for writing this column..

        Sincerely..holly b.

      • profile image

        Unique 2 U 

        3 years ago

        Fantastic information and articles

        Blessed.

      • profile image

        Foreverhooeful 

        3 years ago

        I am an empath...I still have problems not taking in all emotions...and your right I have stomach problems ....however I am as I was created. ...peace

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        3 years ago from USA

        Hi everyone! Thank you so much for the comments. I need to revise this article a bit, in my continued growth, I'm learning I have a few things wrong. Just as a suggestion...the book The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity by Carol A. Brown you all may find helpful! I sure have.

      • melissae1963 profile image

        Melissa Reese Etheridge 

        3 years ago from Tennessee, United States

        Thank you for such an interesting article. This is the first that I've heard of this.

      • profile image

        Gina Banins 

        3 years ago

        I resemble all of this, except I love and sell antiques. My big problem...I need solitude and sometimes just can't take any more people. I want to retreat.

      • profile image

        rainraven 

        3 years ago

        makes a lot of sense. But I find it helps to have someone like myself to talk to it about in person.

      • profile image

        Dusti 

        3 years ago

        Wow i finally understand what has been happening to me my entire life. Thank you for the post.

      • sgbrown profile image

        Sheila Brown 

        3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

        This is very interesting! I enjoyed learning more about this subject. I am sure this can be difficult at times. You explained this so well, I feel as though I have learned a lot by reading your hub.

      • profile image

        Donna Wallace-Ruff 

        3 years ago

        Thank you so much Bishop, this article explains so much to me, I've been told before that I am an Empath, but never really understood what it meant, until now.

        I have always had the ability to heal from a young age, I remember finding injured birds and taking them home, thank goodness my mum understood me, and the next day or so, the bird would be flying around my bedroom, not all had a successful end.

        I am now a Reiki Master, however I enjoy my healing work, I do suffer from people moods, and also I feel their pain and together with my own pain (lower back mainly) can sometimes be overwhelming. I have already removed toxic people from my life as much as possible, and when I know someone is lying, I find it hard not to say something, but I manage to do so somehow.

        Again, thank you for taking the time out to do this article, and hopefully now I can stop feeling so drained all the time.

      • natnickeep profile image

        Natasha Keep 

        3 years ago from Kansas city, Kansas

        This hub was a wonderful read. It touched me because I always thought something was wrong with me.

        I felt like I was a bad friend when I needed time away to clear my head. I thought I had social anxiety before and also wondered about many of the other things you mentioned. I have some health issues and pain that this may just explain. Very enlightening and now that I know maybe like you said I can put the ability to good use instead of letting it constantly drain and confuse me.

      • Raceme profile image

        Elizabeth Harp 

        3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        I've often wondered if my mystery ailments were the side effects of my strong empathetic abilities. Being around large groups or even small groups with high tensions (even if it's positive tension) often gives me severe migraines.

        I'm going to try some of these things you've suggested, and I really hope they'll work. Thank you so much for the insight and advice! It's very comforting to know I'm not an alone in this.

      • Hendrika profile image

        Hendrika 

        4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

        This is a very interesting article. I am not an Empath, but do have the problem that people "latch" onto me and dump their whole life's stories on me. Even strangers in malls approach me out of the blue and tell me their problems! So, even tho I am not an Empath I can "emphasize" with you.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        4 years ago from USA

        Let me rephrase that. I think that empaths that don't come into full bloom with their abilities can sometimes use this trait to manipulate people. It's not difficult to do when you are tuned into others so easily. Evolved empaths won't act as narsisists, or eventually they grow out of it.

      • profile image

        Mandi 

        4 years ago

        I'm having a hard time. When I read about empathy it seems to match up almost perfectly. But there are other places that stay narcissism is confused with being highly sensitive. Does anyone have good insight on Valid and distinctive differences.

      • profile image

        sara 

        4 years ago

        I know I'm empathic, but I'm social just not that social. I hate loud crowds for long times and Ithe closer you are you me like my best friend, husband or any 4 of my kids, the more in tune I am. Thank you for this article. It really helps.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks for your comment. I obviously relate and it took me 30 yrs to "get" it. :)

      • profile image

        LT 

        4 years ago

        I'm 48 years old, and it's like I've been living in the dark all of my life.

        I've been told too many times to count that I'm "too sensitive". I love to be alone. I study science and visit museums by myself. I cannot stand any sort of social gathering. Sometimes, people will pour out their life story to me and I've never been able to figure out why. If I work in a negative environment, I will become overwhelmed and intensely negative. I'm very creative and a design engineer by trade. I must be near the water, and I am an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. I suffer from depression and intestinal maladies that defy medical explanation.

        Wow! It's like these points describe my personality 100%, but I just never knew that there was a specific quality or capability associated with my heightened sensitivity.

        The light just came on...

      • profile image

        SKS 

        4 years ago

        Yes, I find that I'm at a point where I'm ok getting into peoples emotions. I actually like bringing peace to their being/feelings. When I am around people and I sense their emotions overpowering my senses I say in a calm internal voice that I will not own your emotions. I will help give peace to your emotions but I will not own them. After that everything stays calm and people open up and sense the peaceful calmness. Being an empath and using your intuition to guide you is truly remarkable. You can have complete trust that you are always guided in the right direction.

      • profile image

        anna sun 

        4 years ago

        i have learned to diffuse some of my empathy bc it was making me physcially feel insane... i still absorb ppls energies/emotions and 100% feel their pains but i can control how badly it affects me now... and that took many yrs to figure out how to do

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        5 years ago from USA

        Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear about your aversion to crowds, but I know exactly what you mean. I have a hard time even being in stores, I go with lists get in and out ASAP, or shop online. I'd rather just avoid a lot at this point and not even deal with the stress it causes. It's horrible to say, but sometimes even being around my husband and kids makes me very stressed out. Not because they do anything, it's just that I can't handle all the energy even they put off. My sister (who I love more than the world) also does this. I sense her thoughts and moods and I have gotten emotionally sick from it. Again...nothing they do intentionally. I just need a lot of time alone.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 years ago from USA

        This was interesting. Although I wouldn't say I'm an Empath, I have a strong aversion to large crowds now because of the noise and people's lack of awareness of their body space. People are so big and they use their bodies and belongings carelessly, bumping into others and bustling about. Being disabled (but not visibly so -- I have balance and walking issues associated with MS), crowds of people can rush and push and it becomes really stressful. Crowds make me angry and miserable.

        I really enjoyed reading about this topic. Thanks for sharing your story. Stay well and connected to what matters.

      • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR

        Rebecca 

        5 years ago from USA

        Lanel do you have a private email you can give me? I'll email it.

      • profile image

        Lanel 

        5 years ago

        What is the information you have on the spiritual healer/energy practitioner?

      • mathira profile image

        mathira 

        5 years ago from chennai

        Bishop, you have analyzed in detail the pros and cons of an Empath. Very interesting and informative hub.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This is an interesting and thought provoking hub, Bishop55. Thanks for sharing the information about Empaths.

      • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

        Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

        5 years ago from Pennsylvania

        I enjoyed reading this.

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